Mae Flexer

State Senator

Mae Flexer

Deputy President Pro Tempore & Federal Relations Liaison

An Advocate for Us

May 22, 2019

Senator Flexer Lauds Senate Passage of Bill That Updates State Statutes For Cooperative Associations

HARTFORD, CT – On Tuesday, May 21, the Senate passed a bill that would update state statutes for cooperative associations by a unanimous 34-0 vote. Senator Mae Flexer (D-Danielson) is a member of the Judiciary Committee which introduced the bill.

Senate Bill 138, “An Act Modernizing the State’s Cooperative Association Statutes,” would revise state statutes governing the formation of cooperative associations in order to enhance the use of such associations as a business model in the state. It would make structural changes to the membership of co-ops – reducing the minimum size from 7 people to 3 – eliminate joint and several liability of co-op members if an annual report is not filed, and eliminate the requirement that, prior to allocated profits, 10% of profits be appropriated for a contingent or sinking fund and equal a total of 20% of the capital stock.

“This legislation will strengthen and bolster existing cooperatives, like the Willimantic Food Co-op,” said Senator Mae Flexer, who is a member of the Willimantic Food Co-op. “Cooperatives are innovative and community-focused entities. Modernizing these statutes will enhance the use of cooperative associations as a business model and will encourage new co-ops to form, creating more economic growth in our communities and throughout our state.”

“I am pleased to work with Senator Flexer to simplify the Cooperative Association Statutes,” said Representative Susan Johnson (D-Windham). “The Willimantic Food Coop is a wonderful shopping option for the region. Having healthy delicious food is one more thing that makes Windham/Willimantic a go to place for food, health and beauty aids. Shoppers can rest assured that all of the items meet the standards for organic foods. Thanks to the Food Co-op leaders for bringing this to our attention. This simplified statutory change is another model that will enhance Connecticut’s opportunities for economic opportunity and development.”

“Cooperatives are a unique and viable business model,” said Alice Rubin from the Willimantic Food Co-op. “In this time of big business consolidating and resources going to far away corporations, cooperatives empower communities and keep valuable resources in Connecticut. Updating Connecticut’s cooperative association statutes would encourage more cooperatives to form and operate in our state and make a real difference in our economy.”

The bill now awaits a vote by the House of Representatives.